In Memoriam: Bernard Zimmerman

In Memoriam: Bernard Zimmerman
Architecture professor Bernard Zimmerman died June 4.

Longtime professor Bernard Zimmerman, who helped establish the Department of Architecture, died June 4 after a long illness. He was 79.

Zimmerman joined the Urban & Regional Planning Department in 1968. Although he retired in 2000, he continued to teach part-time until 2003. In the early 1970s, he was one of the original faculty members of the Department of Architecture and helped shape the program's development. His work with students and alumni during his 40 years strengthened Cal Poly Pomona's reputation in the architecture community, according to architecture professor Kip Dickson.

“As a teacher, he was a vocal critic and a demanding instructor to many,” Dickson says. “He spent countless hours assisting students in finding employment throughout the country and internationally, using his personal reputation and unfathomable list of contacts to this end.”

A leading practitioner of architecture for more than 40 years, Zimmerman was well-known and well-respected in the industry. In 1999, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects/Los Angeles.

At the awards ceremony, internationally recognized architect Ray Kappe said: “During the last 50 years, no architect has been as concerned about the state of architecture in our city as Bernard. No one has been more concerned about the education of our future architects than Bernard. Throughout his lifetime, he has unsparingly donated his time and energy to further and promote the professional status of American architects and architecture, particularly Los Angeles architects and their architecture.”

In his career, he served as president of Zimmerman Architects and Planners, and was a partner in the Collaborative for Environmental Design, Pulliam Zimmerman & Matthews, Zimmerman & Robbins Architects and Zimmerman/Stafford Architects.

Zimmerman was involved with a wide range of architectural and city planning projects including: the IBM Pavilion, the Twin Towers in Century City, Bunker Hill in Los Angeles, Old Town Pasadena, Olympic Building in Los Angeles, and the Sunset and Vine Tower in Hollywood. His work was published in national and international design reviews such as “Arts & Architecture,” “Architectural Record,” “Domus,” “L'Arca” and “Progressive Architecture.”

Zimmerman was a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Architecture and received a master's degree in planning at the University of Southern California.

He is survived by his sons Eric, Josef and Derek, daughter Karla and six grandchildren.